The husband and I pretty much got ourselves banned from the rescue where we got Freckles. Yeah. It got ugly. It was so overwhelmingly stupid that I finally had to stop playing nice and say something.
Ok, when people want to adopt a dog a lot of rescues want to call your vet and ask if you take care of your pets. It is usually a two minute phone call. When we adopted Freckles it was a complete debacle. They called my office and my receptionist ended up telling them off. They wanted dates when my cats had their visits. She tried to explain that my cats don’t come to the office. I treat them at home. There have to be some perks to having a vet as a mom. This is balanced out by knowing that if you look suspicious in any way you can be suddenly grabbed for an impromptu vet exam in the kitchen or worse, the bathroom, at any time. Given the information that my cats don’t go to the office, they failed us on the vet exam. Let’s review. I AM A VETERINARIAN. I FAILED THE VET PORTION OF THE ADOPTION INTERVIEW. Cooler heads finally prevailed and we got Freckles.
Fast forward eleven years and we are reapplying. I decide to head this off at the pass and explain what happened last time. I say that if they call my office they will just get me on the phone. I explained what vaccine protocols I use. I say that I give heartworm prevention that I get for free from drug reps. This is not ok. I should have lied. It starts to spiral out of control. Basically you see, there is a form that needs to be filled out. They want to see when I bought heartworm prevention. I don’t buy it. I also don’t charge myself for vet exams. There are no invoices. This is bad. They can’t fill out the form.
Many painstaking weeks of emails and phone calls ensue. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO FILL OUT THE FORM? I kept saying to just write down what I do on the form. This can’t happen. There’s a form, you see. Finally when I get an email asking me to provide Freckles’ medical consultation notes, I put my foot down. Actually I told the husband to take my phone away from me before I derailed the whole process. He then answered that email and told them very nicely that they were being really weird. I wrote to their national organization and explained all that was going on. I thought that they would agree that this was ridiculous. I got a response back that basically said, “Sorry you are offended but you see, there’s a form….”
The husband got a nasty email back that said that she didn’t care that I am a vet and that we were repeat adopters. We were strangers to her and why should she give a dog to strangers? I mean, I thought that was literally her job…. Anyway, we once again failed to prove that we would provide medical care to a dog despite my being a veterinarian. He wrote a scathingly sweet response back that ended with “Best of luck to your dogs” which I think is a lovely set down if read in the tone I imagine him using.
There are lots of rescues in the world but we were looking at a specific breed rescue because we are picky dog people. Vets tend to look at dogs and immediately classify all the problems they are going to have based on their breed. There are only a few breeds/mixes that the husband and I can agree on. We are also still so amazingly pissed off at that rescue that we’d probably bite the head off the next rescue person who says, “We need to talk to your veterinarian…”
So despite our wish to adopt an adult dog in need of a home and my horror at the prices dogs are being sold for we broadened our search. Seriously, if you add up all I’ve spent buying horses in my life, the total wouldn’t buy me a purebred puppy. Now I’m side eyeing all the puppies I see in the office. Is everyone I know paying thousands of dollars for puppies and then claiming my $12 rabies vaccine is extortion? I’ve had purebred dogs all my life and every one was free. The only mixed breed dog I’ve ever had was Freckles and she was the only one I had to pay for.
We are now on the waiting list for a puppy hopefully to be born in July. The litter will be 3/4 Springer Spaniel – 1/4 Border Collie or as I like to explain, “Freckles but smart.” (Freckles was Springer/Beagle and the sweetest dog in the history of the world but not the brightest bulb, bless her heart.) The price is the same as the fee we were going to pay to adopt.
I set out to sweet talk the husband once I saw the ad. I got an email back that said, “I’m not a puppy lover.” By the time I got home from work that night (you know, at my job as a VET), he was saying, “If there is a little female that has an all black head we could consider it….” I emailed the owner to get on the waiting list. I texted the husband the next day and explained that there was NO COMMITMENT but we were just on a list of people who MIGHT be interested. He texted back, “Yay”. Not a puppy lover, huh?
Hopefully our new dog is cooking as I write and we’ll find out next month. I haven’t had a puppy since 1990 but I spend most of my day with them. It will be an adventure at least.